Zimbabwe’s Mining Sector Soars with 38 Exclusive Prospecting Orders

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The future of Zimbabwe’s mining industry appears promising, as the government recently granted 38 active Exclusive Prospecting Orders (EPOs) to investors. EPOs provide investors with the right to search for new mineral deposits in specific geographic areas, facilitating the discovery of fresh deposits and the expansion of existing mining operations.

Zimbabwe’s mining sector plays a vital role in the country’s economy, contributing more than 75 percent of its foreign exchange earnings. Additionally, it significantly bolsters government revenues, employment, and infrastructure development.

During his ministry’s Mid-term Performance Review and 2024 Strategic Planning workshop in Masvingo, Mines and Mining Development Minister Zhemu Soda unveiled details about the permits issued to investors for prospecting. Minister Soda affirmed his commitment to policies and strategies aimed at attracting investments, improving the legal framework, and fostering safe and sustainable mining practices.

Despite Zimbabwe boasting over 60 extractable mineral deposits, fewer than 10 are currently being commercially exploited. Minister Soda highlighted the importance of exploration for the mining sector’s development, emphasizing the ministry’s priority in releasing more land for exploration.

“We currently have 38 active exclusive prospecting orders (EPOs) across the country, which give mining firms the rights to prospect for minerals. This will lead to the opening of new mines and the expansion of existing mining operations,” he stated.

Since the Second Republic came to power in November 2017, President Mnangagwa’s declaration that “Zimbabwe is Open for Business” has drawn global investors eager to explore opportunities within the country.

Minister Soda expressed confidence in the sector’s growth trajectory, citing upcoming projects such as the Dinson Iron and Steel project, Sabi Star, and Zulu Lithium. He also mentioned the expansion of existing mines, including initiatives by Pickstone Peerless Mine, Zimplats, Mimosa, and Unki, as well as projects focusing on beneficiation and value addition by Dinson Iron and Steel Company and the establishment of a base metal refinery by Zimplats.

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Zimbabwe has also witnessed the establishment of various lithium processing plants following a ban on raw lithium exports.

This positive outlook aligns with Zimbabwe’s national target of growing the mining industry into a US$12 billion sector by the end of the year.

In their pursuit of investment under the “Zimbabwe is Open for Business” mantra, the government plans to market the country’s potential by participating in various international conferences, such as Investing in Africa Mining Indaba, Africa Down Under, and China Mining Expo.

To ensure transparency and mitigate disputes, the government is expediting the finalization of the Cadastre, a computer-based system for mining title management.

Addressing safety in the sector, Minister Soda expressed concern about recent accidents, especially in the small-scale mining sector, and reiterated the government’s commitment to advocating for safe mining practices. He mentioned the Responsible Mining Audit, initiated earlier in the year, to ensure adherence to the country’s laws and statutes.

Furthermore, the government intends to enforce the implementation of the Minamata Convention, including alternative mineral processing methods that avoid the use of mercury.

In alignment with the National Development Strategy and the Africa Mining Vision, the government is pushing for local mineral beneficiation and value addition. This involves banning the export of raw base minerals and unbeneficiated lithium, spurring miners to invest in processing plants.

These measures have led to increased investments in processing plants, not only for lithium but also for other minerals, including granite.

Mandla Ndlovu

Meet Mandla Ndlovu, our Editor-in-Chief at ZimScribes Online Magazine. With a passion for storytelling and a keen eye for diverse narratives, Mandla curates and leads our team in delivering captivating and thought-provoking content that celebrates the rich tapestry of Zimbabwe's culture, people, and experiences

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